Goddard to consider STAR Bond amendment

The natatorium rises above the STAR bond construction site in Goddard. Work also has begun the new Genesisi health club. Framing is underway on a new childcare facility, and the first two floors of the planned hotel have been prefabricated.

By Nancy D. Borst

GODDARD – The city of Goddard will hold a public hearing at 7 p.m. Dec. 21 to consider an amendment to the STAR Bond project.
City administrator Brian Silcott reported at Monday’s meeting that the full $25.4 million in STAR Bond funding has been paid. The developer, Goddard Sports LLC, has asked the city to consider the amendment, which would include additional amenities in the project and authorize the Kansas Department of Commerce to spend additional funds under the star bond statute. No details as to what those amenities might be were shared at the meeting.
The amendment has been the subject of two recent special meetings of the council – on Nov. 12 and Nov. 23 – which involved executive sessions but no formal action. Notice for the public hearing will be published in TSNews on Dec. 10 and Dec. 17.
Silcott shared a photo update of the project, showing the superstructure for the Genesis Health Club progressing. He said the first two floors of the hotel have been prefabricated and are waiting on the health club construction. The childcare facility also is starting to be framed.

Photos by Aaron Mounts

Council members approved a small cell agreement with Cox Wireless Access LLC to build and maintain 5G service on city right-of-way. The agreement allows 5G to be installed on streetlights, standalone poles, third party utility poles and other structures.
City attorney Ryan Peck said the State of Kansas has given “free rein” to telecom companies so 5G can be developed. Cox will pay $150 per attachment per year and $1,000 for each application for a new infrastructure pole. City planner Micah Scroggins explained that if existing city structures do not fit the build design, Cox can apply to install its own pole.
Council member Larry Zimmerman expressed concern that 5G causes cancer and does not want citizens to be sickened by it. Peck noted that the state has pretty much tied the hands of cities regarding 5G and the city could face litigation if it did not approve the agreement. Two of those participating in the meeting noted that 5G is already here – each held up a cellphone already using the technology. Zimmerman was the only dissenting vote on the agreement, which was adopted.
In other business, the council:
• Moved to table action on a blighted property in the Seasons subdivision. The property owner was present and said work had been done but admitted she had no additional funds. The city will give her until Feb. 1, 2021, to make substantial progress. In the meantime, assistance will be sought from local contractors and churches.
• Revised its ordinance dealing with backflow device inspections and fees, removing the city’s obligation to inspect and removing a filing fee for an inspection and subsequent report. The fee for non-compliance was increased to $200.
• Heard that the re-routed Kellogg frontage road at 183rd Street West is open. Construction of the Braum’s store is expected to begin soon. Silt control is in place at the site near Walmart.